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DA challenges ANC to release election lists

Andisiwe Makinana

The DA has dared the ANC to publish the names of candidates nominated to represent the party in Parliament after elections.

The DA says the electorate was being denied the opportunity of passing judgment on the suitability of the candidates selected by the ANC. (Gallo)

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has challenged the ANC to publish the names of candidates who have been nominated to represent the party in Parliament and in the nine legislatures after the May 7 elections.

DA MP James Selfe, who is also chairperson of the party's federal executive, said while the electorate knew what it would be voting for, in respect of the ANC, it did not yet know who it will be voting for.

Moreover, the electorate was being denied the opportunity of passing judgment on the suitability of the candidates selected by the ANC before the lists have been submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on March 12.

"The electorate is effectively being sold a pig in a poke," he said.

"Is the reason that the lists are not being made public because of the tensions and divisions in the ANC? Or is it because of the dubious records of some of the candidates?" he asked.

Selfe said the DA were now being approached by increasingly apprehensive members of the ANC, who do not know whether they will be re-elected, re-deployed or dumped entirely.

"We appeal to the secretary general of the ANC [Gwede Mantashe] to relieve the unhappiness and tension in the ANC ranks and make the full lists known," he said.

Defence
Three ANC MPs – all Cabinet ministers – responded to Selfe to defend the ruling party.

Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor sarcastically congratulated Selfe on his sense of humour.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said when the ANC lists come out, there will be no confidential candidates, people with no record in the party or government moles.

Despite a ruling by National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu that the rules allowed for not more than one minister to respond to a statement; Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi went ahead and added his bit, saying the ANC processes were transparent and involved grassroots members and were not decided in a boardroom.

When the DA publicised its lists last month, some names had been left off the list because they were "confidential candidates".

At the time, DA leader Helen Zille said the party wanted to give the candidates a decent time period to inform their employers and serve their notices.

"Others however, may remove their names from the list," said Zille.

Election list
In January, shortly after its national list conference, the ANC held off releasing its election lists, saying it had to be "cleaned and rubber-stamped" before it was ready to be released.

Mantashe explained that some names on the lists would need to be reviewed because of the party's decision to not send councillors to Parliament, unless it was under extraordinary circumstances.

He said it was to prevent local government from being depleted of experience, adding that there were three names from Mpumalanga that needed to be assessed.

Mantashe wouldn't commit to a date to release the list, saying he would prefer to wait until the lists had to be submitted to the IEC.

The deadline for submitting the lists to the IEC is March 12.

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